5 Burning Questions for the 49ers in Week 7

Oct 17, 2014 at 5:09 PM


The San Francisco 49ers are set to take on the defending AFC champion Denver Broncos on Sunday night. The 49ers come into the game with a 4-2 record, and are coming off a very physical Monday night contest that saw them lose Patrick Willis, Jimmie Ward and Mike Iupati. As a result, rookie inside linebacker Chris Borland will be making his first NFL start against a future Hall of Fame quarterback and there will be some juggling in the secondary and along the offensive line.

The Broncos come in with a 4-1 record, their only loss coming in overtime to the Seahawks in Seattle. In three games at Sports Authority Field in Denver, the Broncos have averaged 32 points per game. While the schedule makers didn't do the 49ers any favors by scheduling a road game after a Monday night road game, they may have also stretched the Broncos a bit by scheduling a conference game against division rival San Diego on Thursday night.

With that as a backdrop here are 5 burning questions to which the answers will be key to the outcome of the game.

1) Can the 49ers defense slow down Peyton Manning? - Manning comes into the game averaging over 300 yards per game so far in 2014. Add in 15 touchdowns with only 3 interceptions and the 49ers defense had it's work cut out for itself even before they lost Patrick Willis and Jimmie Ward.

Yesterday I wrote about this possibly being Trent Baalke's finest hour should the 49ers win, but the same thing could be said for Vic Fangio and the rest of the defensive coaching staff. They are facing an extremely tough task this week.

2) How will Colin Kaepernick follow up his Monday night performance? - This is a great opportunity for Kaepernick to quiet the naysayers who keep saying that he is too inconsistent. The fact that this game is being played on the road may actually play to his advantage. Over his last ten regular season road starts Kaepernick has thrown for 18 touchdowns, ran for another 4 and turned the ball over only once.

The 49ers will need this type of performance on Sunday night if they are going to have any chance to pull off the upset.

3) How will Joe Staley and Jonathan Martin hold up against DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller? - Ware and Miller have accounted for 12 of Denver's 19 sacks so far this season. Look for them to provide the 49ers with their biggest challenge since week two against the Chicago Bears when Kaepernick was sacked 4 times and had his worst game of the season with four turnovers.

4) Can the 49ers get the run game going without Mike Iupati? - The 49ers were without Iupati for four games in 2013 and had mixed results. In the first two games they were held to fewer than 3 yards per carry, while in the final two they were over 4.5 yards per carry.

While Iupati is among the best run blocking guards in the NFL he struggles in pass protection. Look for Joe Looney, the lone remaining member of the 2012 draft class, to get the start at left guard and possibly help shore up the inside pass protection to give Colin Kaepernick the time needed to make the throws.

5) How will the 49ers handle the short week? - This game reminds me a lot of Thanksgiving 2011 when the 49ers were forced to travel across the country on a short week to take on the Baltimore Ravens. In that game the 49ers were able to keep it close, and may have been able to pull off the win if not for a penalty that negated a 75 yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith to Ted Ginn.

Prediction Time:

49ers 24 Broncos 23

The 49ers win on a last second field goal from Phil Dawson.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


4 Comments

  • ChicagoNiner
    Jack, this is going to be a very tall task for us to go to Denver and come up with a victory with all the injuries. We will need a complete team effort to have a chance. On special team, we have to play well and take advantage of any opportunity to score points. On offense we have to establish long drives and score 7 points with out turnovers. On Defense we must play smart, cohesive team football, by only giving up short passes and tackling recievers and creating trunovers. I am not sure if we can win this game but hey it would be awsome if do. GO NINERS
    Oct 19, 2014 at 7:00 AM
    0
  • mood_indigo
    All good points except that Anthony Davis should be starting.
    Oct 17, 2014 at 11:03 PM
    0
  • Scooter_McG
    All good points Jack - the Broncos pass rush in particular is a cause for concern for the 49ers. The OL will need to be on their game this week. One thing that gives me some comfort is the 49ers have appeared to be more susceptible to pass rush up the middle than around the edges, so the matchup may not be too bad. For the 49ers defense, the guy I'm most worried about defending is Julius Thomas. I'll be interested to see how they go about defending him, especially with Willis out. He could be a key weapon for Manning in this game.
    Oct 17, 2014 at 7:13 PM
    0
  • Razoreater
    How about a 65 yard field goal for the win and new NFL record? Terrific write up Hammer, should be a great game....
    Oct 17, 2014 at 5:35 PM
    0
    Response: Thanks Razor. I sure hope so.

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



Alex Smith reflects on his 49ers days with Colin Kaepernick, addresses his NFL future

By Kirk Larrabee
Feb 21, 2021

It's been the better part of a decade since Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick were part of the same quarterback room with the San Francisco 49ers, but Smith still sounds as impressed as ever with what he experienced on and off the field when the two of them were teammates. Smith spoke for almost an hour this week on Kaepernick and a number of other subjects during a guest spot on the 10 Questions With Kyle Brandt Podcast (click here to listen). Smith, who was the starting quarterback for the 49ers when Kaepernick was selected in Round 2 of the 2011 NFL Draft, told Brandt he remembered Kaepernick as a "great dude" who brought an impressive work ethic to the NFL right out of the gate. "We were doing workouts



George Kittle, Jordan Reed, Kendrick Bourne represent 49ers on NFL's top 100 catches of 2020

By Kirk Larrabee
Feb 21, 2021

2020 was a fairly forgettable season for the 49ers, but there were still three catches along the way that were memorable enough to be included in the NFL's collection of the top 100 catches of the year. The collection was released to the NFL's YouTube account on February 19 and included catches from wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, tight end Jordan Reed, and tight end George Kittle, with Reed and Kittle's catches cracking the top 20. Here's a look at the 49ers catches that made their list. C.J. Beathard and Kendrick Bourne's meaningless-but-still-cool Hail Mary completion (ranked 68th overall) This play came as time expired in the 49ers' 41-33 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on December 20. Chances are it would have ranked higher had it



Peter King weighs in on what it might cost for 49ers to trade for Deshaun Watson

By Kirk Larrabee
Feb 22, 2021

Would the 49ers be willing to trade one of their top two young defensive stars, a slew of draft picks, and more if it meant getting Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in return? It's possible that's the type of package they might have to ship in Houston's direction if they ever have the chance. And it's one that NBC Sports NFL writer Peter King proposes in his latest Football Morning In America column, in which he comes up with his own deals for teams that could be interested in bringing the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback into the fold. King starts this discussion with an important disclaimer, which is the Texans have yet to give any sign whatsoever that they are actually interested in trading Watson, even though Watson (4,823 passing yards, 33



49ers select TE Kyle Pitts, CB Tyson Campbell in latest PFF mock draft

By David Bonilla
Feb 22, 2021

Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus calls former Florida tight end Kyle Pitts a "generational" prospect leading up to the reveal of the analytics site's latest mock draft — a two-round affair. He notes that his selections don't necessarily predict what he believes NFL teams will do in the upcoming draft, but what he would do if he were making each of the selections for each organization. Treash has Pitts lasting until the No. 12 overall pick, where the San Francisco 49ers are slated to make their first selection, and sees the tight end as a good addition to Kyle Shanahan's


Featured

More by Jack Hammer

More Articles

Share 49erswebzone